Healing Transparency

Yesterday I read “What Heals?”, a poignant, courageous transparent post by a recovering drug and alcohol addict in recovery for over a decade. It moved me. By God’s grace alone I’ve been spared alcohol and drug addiction . . . I’ve fought other addictions.

‘Recovering’ isn’t a favored term . . . it has no end point . . . and no addict ever planned on owning it. Ironically however, it’s in honestly owning ‘recovering’ that sustains it and keeps addiction relapse at bay. Fortunately, many rehabilitation programs exist to assist addicts in recovering. However, without transparent relationships with trusted others, and a genuine dependency on God, lasting recovery is constantly challenged.

As a young person I remember the first time a man told me, “I’m a recovering alcoholic.” It left me surprised, and somewhat confused and disappointed. He appeared to be a respectable guy . . . He was! . . . it was my prideful, judgmental human nature in need of ‘recovering’ for underestimating his inestimable worth as a human being.

We’ve all faced addictions. Living life has rendered all of us potential ‘addicts’ constantly navigating ‘recovering’. Perhaps we haven’t sunk to the depths of addiction requiring professional rehabilitation but, . . . truth be known . . . each of us is a recovering ________________ (you know your battle)

Recently, I read the words below written by a recovering alcoholic. Lewis Meyer relates the unfortunately uncommon, precious healing of transparency discovered in Alcoholic Anonymous meetings, and I’ve experienced in Celebrate Recovery. May it encourage you as it has me to embrace the healing of transparency faith and faithful friends can provide along life’s challenging journey.

Off the Sauce

Lewis Meyer

If one could use only one word to describe the feeling of an AA meeting, it would be love.

Love is the only word I know that encompasses friendship, understanding, sympathy, empathy, kindness, honesty, pride, and humility. The kind of love I mean is the kind Jesus had in mind when He said, “Love one another.”

Shoes may be shed, attention might be diverted, but there is a closeness between AAs, a closeness you seldom find anywhere. It’s the only place I know where status means nothing. Nobody fools anybody else. Everyone is here because he or she made a slobbering mess of his or her life and is trying to put the pieces back together again. First things are first here.

I have attended thousands of church meetings, lodge meetings, brotherhood meetings – yet have never found the kind of love I find at AA. For one small hour the high and mighty descend, and the lowly rise. The leveling that results is what people mean when they use the word brotherhood.”

Behind each one’s strength is hiding a fallen person in need of redemption, a person precious in the eyes of God because of the unique treasure they are meant to be in time and eternity.

Adrian van Kaam

Keep Looking Up . . . His Best is Yet to Come!

3 thoughts on “Healing Transparency

  1. Truth! I first read a note with the same sentiment about AA in a Frederick Buechner book. An organization committed to recovery and love that doesn’t own any buildings and has little liturgy. I love the way that you put it – we are all recovering and need that healing transparency!

    Liked by 1 person

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